I have upgraded to Ubuntu 13.04 a few days ago.
With Ubuntu 12.10 I had set the default terminal with:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.default-applications.terminal exec /usr/bin/terminator
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.default-applications.terminal exec-arg "-x"

I had set it with sudo update-alternatives --config x-terminal-emulator too.

But none of these options work on Ubuntu 13.04.

How can I set Terminator as default terminal emulator with nautilus "open terminal"?

This isn't a duplicate. As I've said: the solutions in How can I set default terminal used in Unity? doesn't work on Ubuntu 13.04 with nautilus "open terminal".
My question is: "Set Terminator as default terminal emulator WITH NAUTILUS "OPEN TERMINAL" on Ubuntu 13.04"

  • Next time please mention what you've looked at already. It would help a lot.
    – Seth
    Jun 7, 2013 at 16:12
  • Next time please read better the entire question. ;-) Jul 2, 2013 at 13:09

4 Answers 4


Here's how to add an 'Open in Terminator' option:

  1. Install 'Nautilus-Actions Configuration Tool'

    sudo apt-get install nautilus-actions
  2. In 'Nautilus-Actions Configuration Tool', add a new rule with the following (as a guidance):

    • In the Actions tab, tick both boxes and select an appropriate name (e.g. Open in Terminator):

      Action (tab)

    • In the Command tab, set:

      • Path: terminator
      • Parameters: --working-directory=%f

      Command (tab)

    • In the Mimetypes tab, set:

      • Mimetype filter: inode/directory

    Mimetypes (tab)

    • Go to File > Save to save the rule and you're all set.
  3. I recommend that you also change the preferences in Nautious-Actions Configuration Tool to get rid of the two level context menu by unticking the following in Edit > Preferences:

    • (untick) Create a root 'Nautilus-Actions' menu
    • (untick) Add an 'About Nautious-Actions' item in the Nautilus context menus


  4. Log out and Log in again.

Now you're all set and should see a 'Open in Terminator' option if you right-click in Nautilus.

sudo apt-get install terminator && sudo apt-get remove gnome-terminal && sudo ln /usr/bin/terminator /usr/bin/gnome-terminal
  • 5
    This "fix" is a bit sloppy. Jun 7, 2013 at 13:38
  • While I agree the symlink way is sloppy, it's what most people will resort to since the "correct" way is ridiculously unintuitive. The desktop needs to provide a better way of handling this, then "sloppy methods" will naturally go away.
    – Slawomir
    Nov 6, 2016 at 18:16

This is also a bit of a 'hack', but it's less painful than the one provided by Germano, and allows you to still use gnome-terminal if you need to by referring to it with a full pathname (i.e. /usr/bin/gnome-terminal instead of just gnome-terminal).

Make sure your ~/.bashrc file contains the following somewhere in it:

if [ -d ~/bin ]; then
    export PATH=~/bin:$PATH

Then run the following in a shell:

mkdir -p ~/bin
ln -s /usr/bin/terminator ~/bin/gnome-terminal

Finally, log-out, and back in to your Ubuntu account.


EDIT: Just saw this meaning it maybe does not work with 13.04 after all. Still, it is something I would try (I'm on 12.04 LTS btw): Setting nautilus-open-terminal to launch Terminator rather than gnome-terminal

Original Message:

It may be too late, but since I was looking for a solution to the same thing but for konsole...

If you install dconf-editor you can (very similar to the gsettings commands) set the terminal you want to have opened by opening dconf-editor and setting:

org->gnome->desktop->applications->terminal->exec = terminator
org->gnome->desktop->applications->terminal->exec-arg = -x

Afterwards you can quit and re-initialise nautilus with nautilus -q (may take two executions for the following to appear)

$ /usr/bin/nautilus -q
Initializing nautilus-gdu extension
Initializing nautilus-open-terminal extension
Shutting down nautilus-open-terminal extension
Shutting down nautilus-gdu extension

It's also now possible to debug nautilus from the command line with:

$ /usr/bin/nautilus
Initializing nautilus-gdu extension
Initializing nautilus-open-terminal extension

Any problems when calling 'Open in Terminal' will be logged here.

NOTE: this was only possible directly after calling with the -q flag. Otherwise calling nautilus simply opens the application and returns to the shell without logging.

My problem, if it interests anyone, was that the -x arg doesn't work with konsole, so I changed it to --new-tab -e because I didn't want a new Konsole window opening up everytime.

Hopes it helps someone.

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